Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you’ll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth. Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (MSG)
Throughout my journey I’ve lived in many places both large and small. I’ve been involved in churches both large and small representing many different traditions. I’ve experienced many conflicts and church schisms from theological debates to leadership issues to silly arguments unworthy of comment.
The other day a friend and I were discussing a church conflict and I realized that this conflict, which had many people up in arms, was not something I cared that much about. Sure, I had my own thoughts, perceptions, and opinions, which I shared honestly, but it did not really affect my Life-journey or my own interpersonal relationship with God. It was not that huge of a deal for me.
As I read today’s chapter and the command to weave God’s Message into every part of your every day life, it brought to mind my conversation about the conflict at church. It reminded me of why I really have little concern about it. If I were to list and prioritize all of the things that sincerely matter to me in my spiritual journey and my relationship with God the weekly church service would be very low on the priority list. More critical to me is the time each morning I spend alone with God’s Message and writing these posts, the moments of praying the hours each day, the impromptu spiritual conversations I have with Wendy, the daily and weekly phone calls, coffee time, and happy hour I have with dear friends who are walking the journey with me, and the Christ-centered dinner conversations with friends and family. Mess with anything on that list and I will be gravely concerned. Conflicts at church, however, affect me very little.
This Life-journey with God is a 24/7/365 adventure. It doesn’t happen in an hour on Sunday morning and a weekly church service was never intended to be the destination. If I can contain my faith in a small compartment of my life then I can be sure that what I have is a cheap-imitation of the Life-journey God designed and calls us to walk. God’s Message tells us to number our days that we may have a heart of wisdom. God does not ask us to tally Sundays or church services. The emphasis is what happens each and ever day, not what happens once a week.